The Daniel of the Bible stood out amongst his peers. However, he was not in bad company. Daniel’s three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were also unlike any other wise men in Babylon. The account of Daniel and his three friends is one of great encouragement. It is an account of trust, praise, and service.
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were sons of Judah who were taken into Babylonian captivity in the 3rd year of the reign of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1ff). At the time these men were youths (1:4). In a strange land, under strenuous circumstances, and surrounded by idolatry on all sides, these young men exercised great trust in their God. When no one could make known what King Nebuchadnezzar desired, Daniel said, “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (2:28).
However, before Daniel came before the King he petitioned his friends and together they petitioned their Father in heaven for compassion and understanding (2:17,18). They trusted in God to supply them with their needs and understood the power of asking for those needs. Also, when their prayers were answered these four brave youths did what we all should do when faced with God’s faithfulness, they gave God praise (2:20-23).
These young individuals were in the service of the king. However, they never forgot who’s service they were really under. When we find ourselves on strange shores, under strenuous circumstances, and surrounded by the error of the world we must not forget to trust in God, give Him praise, and remember that we are enlisted servants of the Most High. Many of us will never face certain death or be asked to bow down to worship a golden image, but we may be asked to abandon our beliefs in subtler ways. Will we?